Thennis' Walk-Off Home Run Powers Tech Past No. 16 Nebraska, 9-8|
March 17, 2007
LUBBOCK, Texas - Maybe there was something to those green hats after all.
Junior center fielder Doug Thennis hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Texas Tech to a 9-8 series-clinching win over 16th-ranked Nebraska on Saturday afternoon in front of 2,473 fans at Dan Law Field.
The win moves Texas Tech to 17-8 on the season and to 2-1 in the Big 12 while Nebraska falls to 10-7 and 1-2 in league play. The Big 12 series opening win for Texas Tech is its first since the 2005 season when Tech 2-of-3 from Texas A&M.
Texas Tech showed its St. Patrick's Day spirit as the Red Raiders wore green hats for today's series finale against Nebraska. Thankfully for Tech, the luck of the Irish was on the side of the Red Raiders.
Nebraska found itself down 6-3 heading into the top of the eighth inning but the Huskers would get a rally going for the first time off Tech starter Colt Hynes. Hynes, who had held Nebraska to three runs on five hits over the first seven innings, gave up a leadoff walk to DJ Belafonte and a single to Craig Corriston. First baseman Andrew Brown then tied the game for the Huskers when he blasted a three-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center field.
After the Huskers tied the game in the top of the eighth, the Red Raiders promptly answered in the bottom half of the frame with two runs and grabbed an 8-6 lead. Sophomore first baseman James Leverton reached on a leadoff error and freshman left fielder Taylor Ashby moved him over to third with a single through the left side. Sophomore third baseman Ben Baker gave Tech the lead when he laced an RBI single up the middle that scored Leverton. Matt Smith drew a bases loaded walk in the inning that gave Tech the two-run cushion.
The Tech defense fell apart in the top of the ninth as a pair of fielding errors by Baker and Tech reliever Travis Young led to two Huskers runs and they tied the game at 8-8. Nebraska had the go-ahead run at third with no outs but Corriston flew out to left and Tech defensive sub Drew Evans threw out Steve Edlefsen who tried to score on the play.
Nebraska jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Andy Gerch hit a two-run home run to left field. The Red Raiders began to chip away in the bottom of the second when Leverton hit an RBI single that pulled Tech within one.
The Red Raiders jumped out to a 6-2 lead by scoring three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth. James Leverton picked up his first home run of the season in the fifth when he belted a two-run blast to the Tech bullpen in left field.
Colt Hynes earned a no-decision on the afternoon but was spectacular for the Red Raiders as he logged eight innings of work and allowed five earned runs on eight hits. Paul Gonzalez was credited with the win after pitching the ninth and allowing just one hit. Nebraska reliever Steve Edlefsen suffered the loss for the Huskers as he gave up one run on two hits in a single inning of work.
Texas Tech will enjoy a five day break from action as the Red Raiders aren't scheduled to hit the diamond until Friday evening in Waco. The Red Raiders will face the Baylor Bears in a three-game series beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night at Baylor Ballpark.